Boston Escalator and Elevator Accident Attorneys
Worry-free representation for serious elevator & escalator injuries in Massachusetts
Massachusetts has thousands of elevators and escalators in public and private buildings, including in apartment complexes, college dorms, shopping malls and workplaces. Under state regulations, these must be regularly inspected to ensure they are safe and being properly maintained. Despite these safeguards, property owners and elevator companies can and do prioritize money over safety at times. Each year, thousands of people in the US are injured on defectively designed, inadequately inspected, or poorly maintained elevators and escalators. Many accidents result in serious injuries and wrongful death.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an elevator or escalator accident, learn your legal rights. At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our Boston personal injury lawyers have over 100 years combined experience representing clients in MA who have suffered catastrophic injuries or been killed by defective property conditions. Our attorneys have experience investigating elevator accidents and holding the companies accountable for our clients' injuries. For a free legal consultation, contact us today.
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Common questions from injury clients
How often do elevator and escalator accidents happen in Boston?
Elevators and escalators are used daily and should be properly tested and maintained at all times. But this is not always the case and there have been several recent accidents in Massachusetts:
- Child Killed on Mall Escalator. A 4-year-old child died after falling from a second-floor escalator at the Auburn Mall in March 2011. There was an opening between the plexiglass and the escalator and the boy was pulled through by the escalator guardrail. He fell 18 feet onto a display case, according to the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester. The boy died the next day and his parents filed a negligence lawsuit against several parties, including the mall owner, the escalator manufacturer and the department store where the accident took place.
- Woman Killed By MBTA Escalator. In 2009, an 82-year-old woman was found trapped with her clothing caught on a moving escalator at the State Street MBTA Station, according to The Boston Globe. When she was discovered by a passerby, the escalator was shut off and her clothes were cut free. But it was too late. The woman was later pronounced dead at Massachusetts General Hospital. The state medical examiner determined the cause of death was asphyxia by strangulation.
- Red Sox Elevator Injury. A 22-year-old woman suffered a traumatic brain injury and facial and spinal fractures when she fell more than 20 feet down an elevator shaft at Fenway Park in May 2014, according to The Boston Globe. Later that year, her family filed a civil complaint against Fenway Sports Group and Otis Elevator Company, stating the elevator door was inadequately installed and improperly maintained. The lawsuit stated she had incurred over $250,000 in medical expenses and there would be future expenses. She also suffered lost income and was left with a diminished working capacity.
While these accidents are all very serious, the risk for injury and death is even greater on elevators which are defective or not maintained. In the United States, 31 people are killed each year on elevators and escalators and 17,000 people are injured.
Elevator accidents cause about 90 percent of deaths and 60 percent of serious injuries, according to the CDC. Half the deaths are to individuals working on or near elevators, including those who do installation, repairs and work in or near elevator shafts. Members of the public, who may have no warning of a hazard, can also be seriously injured. When this happens, the responsible parties should be held liable for their injuries.
What are common causes of Boston escalator accidents?
Escalator accidents and injuries happen for a variety of reasons, including:
- Improper installation, including missing parts and side panels
- Sudden stops
- Loose or missing parts, such as the metal teeth known as "comb plates"
- Inadequate maintenance and failure to conduct regular elevator inspections
- Side entrapment involving soft shoes, such as Crocs
Unfortunately, many escalator accidents involve young children, who are attracted to the moving parts on the escalator, but are too young to understand the dangers of the machine. Children are also more frequently victims in entrapment cases, since they stand closer to the side panels when trying to hold onto the railing. Their shoes or body parts often get caught in the moving parts.
What are common causes of Boston elevator accidents?
Most elevator accidents result from a few common causes:
- Elevator falls or drops
- Improper door movements or defective safety strips on doors
- Car landing incorrectly, either above or below designated floor
- Improper design
- Improper maintenance
Elevator accidents can be extremely complex due to the design of the moving parts, as well as the complicated electronic controls.
The Massachusetts lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck understand how to handle these types of cases, and have a variety of expert witnesses to call upon to explain how and why a malfunctioning elevator or escalator led to your injuries.
What should I do after an elevator or escalator accident?
The most important thing to do after any accident is to seek immediate medical care for your injuries. The owner of the property should be immediately notified of the incident. The incident should be reported to the Office of Public Safety, as most elevators and escalators are on public property.
It is important to promptly hire a qualified and experienced Boston personal injury attorney. Your attorney will undertake a prompt factual investigation, identify and contact witnesses, preserve essential evidence, and make claims and notify insurance companies. In most cases you only have three years to file a lawsuit for an elevator or escalator injury, so call us as soon as you can to get started.
Do you have an escalator and elevator accident attorney near me?
Breakstone, White & Gluck has an office in Boston at 2 Center Plaza #530 in Government Center, within walking distance of the John Adams Courthouse and Suffolk County Superior Court. There’s a parking garage in the building. The MBTA Green Line and Blue Line are right across the street at the Government Center T station, and there’s a bus stop almost right in front of our office. If you are unable to travel because of your injuries, we can arrange a phone or video conference, or a hospital visit.
Tenacious Boston trial lawyers fighting for your rights after a serious injury in Massachusetts
The lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck in Boston are experienced in handling complex personal injury and premises liability cases, including serious escalator and elevator accident cases. Our Massachusetts firm has the experience, the knowledge, and the resources to best handle any elevator or escalator accident case resulting in personal injury or wrongful death. To schedule an appointment to talk about your case, call our offices or use our contact form. Initial consultation with our firm is always free, and our cases are handled on a contingency fee basis.